Caring representation for seniors and concerned loved ones
Under Ohio law, a guardian is a person the court appoints to be legally responsible for the welfare of a minor or incompetent adult. At Stubbins, Watson, Bryan & Witucky Co., L.P.A., our estate planning attorneys often encounter situations in which adult children of an elderly parent wish to assume guardianship duties. In these cases, the parents are usually reticent, since they still value their independence. Sometimes the parent is losing or has lost the capacity to manage living alone. At other times, the elderly parent is still self-sufficient and does not yet need this level of oversight. Situations in which parents might become wards of their children require delicate management, so whether we represent the children or the senior, we treat all parties with compassion and understanding as we advocate for our client’s interests.
How are guardians appointed in Ohio?
Guardianships are created by appointment of the probate court. Anyone wishing to become a guardian can self-nominate. An elder planning for possible incapacity can nominate someone to serve as guardian if it becomes necessary. Guardianship appointments are involuntary. In fact, they can take place over the objections of the ward. Seniors who feel that their children are jumping the gun by requesting guardianship powers should consult a qualified elder law attorney.
What types of guardianships are available in Ohio?
Ohio law recognizes numerous guardianship arrangements:
- Guardian of the person — The guardian makes decisions regarding the health and welfare of the ward. In the case of a minor ward, these decisions would also include education.
- Guardian of the estate — This guardian manages the ward’s finances for the benefit of the ward.
- Limited guardian — The court limits the guardian’s duties to a particular purpose and for a particular time.
- Interim guardian — A guardian is appointed on a temporary basis after the original guardian has become unable to fulfill the duties and before a second permanent guardian is found.
- Emergency guardian — The court may appoint a guardian without a formal hearing if there is imminent danger of harm to the ward’s person or estate.
- Conservator — When a ward voluntarily agrees to transfer legal responsibility, the would-be guardian is called a conservator. The duties are essentially the same.
Though the court can split the duties of the guardian of the person and the guardian of the estate, the same person assumes both duties in most cases.
Contact our elder law attorneys for advice about guardianships in Zanesville, OH
The elder law attorneys at Stubbins, Watson, Bryan & Witucky Co., L.P.A. help seniors and their adult children manage legal issues related to age and infirmity. For compassionate and respectful representation, speak with a knowledgeable lawyer at our office in downtown Zanesville. To schedule a consultation, call us at (740) 452-8484 or contact our firm online.